Land acquired for Virginia’s 40th state park

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — State officials say a land acquisition in Gloucester County has brought Virginia one step closer to opening its 40th state park.

The Conservation Fund transferred 643 acres known as Timberneck Farm to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, according to a news release the department issued Tuesday. The land will be part of a state park situated along the York River named Machicomoco that’s expected to open in early 2021.

The acreage was an active agricultural farm until 2007 when it was purchased by a residential contractor and developed for large-lot housing. Some of that infrastructure will be used in the park, including 4 miles of paved road with an accompanying bike trail and a gatehouse, which will serve as the contact station and office space, the department said.

Dominion Energy provided $25 million for the project through an agreement intended to mitigate the effects of the Surry-Skiffes Creek-Whealton transmission line.

The name “Machicomoco” was proposed by the Native American tribes in the region who contributed to the park design and interpretive themes, according to the news release. It’s an Algonquian word translated to “special meeting place.”